Why Felix Culpa?

Why Felix Culpa? March 1, 2017





By now, you may be wondering who Felix is and why he’s culpable. Or maybe you’re wondering why I’m suddenly speaking Latin. Or why I’d change my blog name from The Broken Quill to Felix Culpa.

I don’t know how many years I wrote at The Broken Quill. It was many. Maybe eight or nine. A friend of mine chose the name, and while I didn’t know his reasons for doing so, I liked it. When I began writing online, I was fragile and broken in emotional and spiritual ways. I never came right out and said Hey, I’m on this writing journey to figure out why I’m so broken. But that was the drill. The BQ was always my way of discussing spiritual truths, most of which were hitting me square in the forehead.

That is what writing tends to be – the process of attempting to get my mind straight. I often don’t know what I think about something until I take the time to spell everything out. Once I’ve done that, I weigh my thoughts against Scripture, and if they match Bible thoughts, I hit publish. If not, I chuck my opinion, make the writing match with Scripture, and then hit publish.

Having said that, it’s possible for me to look back on some of my writings, even recent ones, and say Nope. You were wrong. And snarky, too. Please try to be less snarky.

It’s a wonder I picked up any faithful readers along the way. But, point is, The Broken Quill was mainly about brokenness and the process of writing. Nothing more. But within the last few years, as my delicate internal balance (ha) began to steady, I began dipping my quill in political ink. Eventually, this convinced me a blog overhaul was in order. I wanted to expand. Needed to expand, actually. Open up my horizons and stretch myself in ways that made me uncomfortable. Political posts definitely had a way of causing me discomfort, as did posts about chronic illness. And nowadays, I am feeling compelled to write about US History. Why? Because very few Americans are up to par with their history. Including yours truly. This is never commendable. We need to know our history if we’re going to refrain from repeating it.

Am I the person to rally the troops and teach the lessons? Can’t say I feel that I am. I’m not very qualified. But that is fear talking, and taking counsel of one’s fears is also never commendable. Someone, somewhere has to start refreshing American minds about the truth of their past, and since I am interested in history, why not me?

If you want change, you first have to be the change. That’s the way I see it.

So back to why I chose Felix Culpa. Knowing that I needed to expand, and knowing that I adore Latin and want to learn it someday, I started looking for a Latin phrase that would allow me to write more freely. Not just about spiritual issues and family, but also political issues, health issues, and US history. Anything that would easily fall under the vast subject we call the Fall of man – and God’s solution to it.

I Googled and Googled, and came across Felix Culpa, which literally means “happy fault.” The Oxford Dictionary lists Felix Culpa as a noun which means:

An apparent error or disaster with happy consequences; (in Christian theology) the sin of Adam viewed as fortunate, because it brought about the blessedness of the Redemption.


Mission accomplished. I had my new title. A title that summed up the Gospel in two words: happy fault. Not only did the phrase describe my personal lot, but it provided the freedom to write about anything that fell under the overarching theme of the Fall of man and the redemption of Jesus Christ.

Of course, this all took place before Patheos contacted me with an invitation to write for them. So I did what any reasonable and calm mannered writer would do, and informed my web designer she wasn’t needed anymore (poor girl!) because Brenda Renee Coats dot com would soon be moved to Pathos. It’s me, not you, I told her. Even if you completed the project, I wouldn’t be able to transfer it to the new blog. It was a financial loss for me, but not as big as it could have been. Now, here I am, snug as a bug in a rug at Patheos. Pleased to be working in a wider field than I was a few weeks ago, plunking down seeds, watering, and leaving the increase up to my Maker.

Why God allows us to participate in the planting process is beyond me. Not only am I undeserving of His grace offered in spite of my fault, I am undeserving of the opportunity to participate in the expansion of His kingdom. He does the ultimate work of bringing others to Himself, of course. But I get to play a part, which in turn gives me purpose. Everyone, whether they know it or not, has a deep desire to be a part of something big. The Great Commission is great, which is to say it’s awesome, but also to say it’s big.


Yuuuuge, even!

It’s possible to be so grateful you begin to sound insincere or like Hillary Clinton who just can’t seem to grasp the concept of golden silence. And clearly, my snark is sneaking up on me and spilling over to you. So I’m outta here. Just know I am sincerely grateful to be here, and I look forward to telling others about my story. America’s story. Christ’s story. And how they all fall under the lovely Latin phrase Felix Culpa – the happy fault of man.

See you next week!

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